At RI we are excited whenever we find new applications for the technologies we have perfectioned. When we think of superconducting RF cavities, we normally think of particle accelerators. From now on, we will also think of quantum computing. As it turns out, our cavities can not only help to accelerate charged particles to almost the speed of light, they can also be used to protect quantum information from decoherence in future quantum computers based on superconducting technology. To this end, we have already started a collaboration with a leading institution in the field of quantum computing and are now manufacturing a dedicated cavity.
The idea behind all this is that a quantum bit, or qubit, can be realized as a long-lived photon state populating the cavity. The very high quality factor Q of a superconducting cavity should protect the qubit against the detrimental influences of noise and thus decoherence and could lead to extended storage times in a future quantum computer. What is required for this application are high frequency superconducting cavities, in which single photons for can be stored for nearly a second.
Here our well-established technologies for the fabrication and preparation of superconducting accelerating cavities come into play: We use chemical surface preparation, high pressure rinsing, ultra-high vacuum bake-out, and of course an assembly under cleanroom conditions to provide dedicated high Q cavities which are ready for quantum computing applications.
In the photo you see the machining of quantum cavity parts on one of our milling machines.